Journey Through Illness

March 15, 2014

H.O.P.E. = Hang On, Pain Ends.

Image Everything is a process, so while the title of this post says “Pain Ends”, I am humbly aware and conscious enough to know that not only does “Pain End”, but it begins again, and ends again, and so on and so forth.  And, what also happens is that compassion, forgiveness, kindness, joy, and light occur, and they too end and begin again.  The cool thing that has led to my own positive shift is the acceptance I feel for the flow of life, today.  

Acceptance for where you are is what enables you to become unstuck.

When you are feeling vulnerable for whatever reason, it doesn’t take much to get you hooked into the “I’m not enough”, “There is something wrong with me” blues.  It can be a criticism, comparing yourself with others, even perceived disapproval from an inquisitive look.  If you are already depressed, grieving, or anxious this can be enough to tip the emotion scales into “I’m not okay” territory.  Then comes the self judgment, and criticism, and the…suffering.  Most people don’t want to face the pain of this suffering, (myself included at times), and so here comes the compensation behaviors:  trying to be perfect, people pleasing, addiction, etc..   Today, I’m grateful for the knowledge that running from the shame and pain of feeling “less than” is not going to allow me or anyone else to become free.  It is only with courage to face your emotions, and self limiting thoughts and behaviors, that you can start the process toward acceptance.  

Then, in addition to the courage peace.. you have to through in some compassion and forgiveness.  Remember what Jack Kornfield and others teach about your “Buddha Nature”, that is, your innate goodness and your ability to live with a clear mind, and open and kind heart.

Now, we are getting somewhere.  Here’s what else this recipe for acceptance needs:  supportive people who function as your own “believable mirrors”.  A “Believable Mirror” is a person who can see the whole you.  Someone or even a group of someones who validate you.  This is where psychotherapy is successful in helping others heal – the relationship piece (more on this on a later post).  You need forgiveness and loving kindness from others just as you need to begin to cultivate this for yourself.  Isolation keeps people stuck in suffering.

Hope enables one to begin to generate agency thoughts.  Agency thoughts are those that start to find pathways to feeling better and doing better.  Hope is a byproduct of acceptance.

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